August 2008

Listening to: Billy Budd – Morrissey


‘Cosmopolitan’ Institute Completes Decades-Long Study On How To Please Your Man

(It’s a video – watch it. Link courtesy of Feministing.)


Listening to: Walk on By – Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes died!

South Park clips on YouTube are all Chocolate Salty Balls and fanvids, so I was going to post that clip from The Commitments where Joey “The Lips” Fagan seduces Bernie to Theme From Shaft, but of course I couldn’t find it. (The scene can be glimpsed in the trailer, but there’s no Isaac.)

So here’s Walk On By (although I have to admit that my favourite part of this clip is actually the backing singers):


ETA: Ooh! Or The Fresh Prince of Bel Air:


Listening to: Singing Machine – Kimya Dawson

Who read this Zoe Williams piece in today’s Guardian? It ends with this:

The only reason feminism gained any ground at all is that there was measurable injustice at the heart of it. There was a pay gap; there was an opportunities gap; there was a straightforward power void, where a woman was fine if she stayed the right side of her husband. The big mistake of this movement was not that it attacked men, nor that it turned us all into slags (I think that’s at the core of Gove’s point), but that it separated itself from socialism. It shouldn’t have. This movement either fights for fairness on behalf of all women, or it’s just a petty squabble between middle-class people, fighting for dominance in a conversation no one else is listening to.

Fairness has not yet been established. Women still earn less than men (14% less full-time, 34% less part-time), still look after the children in 93% of parental separations, won’t have fiscal equality in old age from the pension system for about 45 years. Men are ill-served by the NHS and die of unnecessary cancers, while women are screened much more often. Let’s attack this stuff that we can measure, attack it even if we’re not the victims of it, attack it even if it’s conflicting, here favouring men, there favouring women, attack it because its tangibility is an open flank. The rest is just noise.

Any thoughts?

Listening to: If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle & Sebastian

Hee! I just looked at my referrer stats, and I’ve been translated:

Ouvindo: Trenchtown Rock – Bob Marley e os Wailers

Eu só descobriu que tem uma embarcação The Guardian página. É um bocado “Ei, vamos pular sobre este bandwagon!” E alguns (a maioria) dos projectos são irritatingly simples, mas eu faço como este Stormproof Outdoor lustre (feitas de um celular pendurado tealights em frascos para bebés)…

I get a lot of hits from people Googling lyrics; that one and this Elvis Costello one especially.

Listening to: Lady Coca Cola – Metal Urbain

Isn’t this a lovely idea? July was poetry month at Guildford Library in Surrey, and every day a poem was read over the intercom.

Right. So I keep writing half-posts and abandoning them with the intention of coming back later, and now I find I have 36 drafts and haven’t actually posted anything in a week. And just this afternoon I was going to link to this cool jewellery I found through Evany Thomas’s blog, and in the space of 2 hours the website’s disappeared! So let that be a lesson to me – stop dithering. Anyway, here‘s the original blog link to a lovely retainer necklace (the actual website it’s from had rings made of keys, which I thought was cool).

You may remember me lamenting the dearth of migration resources recently – I went to Borders over the weekend and found a couple, and now I’m depressed. They’re all aimed at people in the finance sector, or backpackers. Living and working in London basically says that anyone who tries to rent in the UK will be screwed over by the unregulated system, and suggests that the reader buys a place instead. Yes! As if anyone coming from outside the UK could afford to buy a packet of chips, let alone a dwelling. I found very little practical advice: they tell you that it’s almost impossible to open a bank account, which you would think creates a gap in the market for some sort of step-by-step guide for getting around the system, but no – this sort of important, practical stuff takes up about 20 pages at the start of the book, and the other 400 are all “the best shopping areas in London are Knightsbridge and Oxford Street!”. I want a book that says “wait, don’t sell your kidney for a Tube ticket yet – try this instead”.

I actually have such a book, but it was published in 1974:

Alternative London (1978 reprint)

It includes a handy price/distance chart comparing different modes of transport for getting around London, advice on where to find free haircuts and VD clinics, how to claim social security, how to make a lampshade out of a balloon, how to fix common faults in gas geysers and how to rig up electricity to your squat.

So anyway, I was feeling a bit down about the whole thing – it was starting to look too frightening to actually be any fun at all – and then I found my National Insurance Number* in a drawer, so now I’m feeling a bit better about the whole thing. I mean, that’s one enormous hassle that’s already taken care of, so…it won’t be so bad, right? Also, CILIP has lots of useful links on job-hunting and confirms that they will recognise any qualifications that ALIA does, and there are, of course, lots of useful threads on Ask Metafilter.

I would just really like to have all of this stuff in one handy volume that I can carry around with me. Hmph.

Also, I promise I will write about something else again one day. Here, have another picture:

This is at the bottom of our garden, and, as soon as I finish unpacking, it will be my sewing room! (Also, does anyone have any tips for removing the smell of damp from carpet? I’ve tried incense and the liberal application of Febreeze, to not much avail.)

* I’ve just looked at that link more closely, and under the question “Do you need to know if my circumstances change?”, it says:

If you are a woman you should tell us if you get married or become divorced or widowed.

Why on earth would they only need to know this about women?